A United States youth international is moving from Club Tijuana of Liga MX to Major League Soccer.
The player? U.S. U-19 striker Brandon Vazquez.
The destination? Newly minted club Atlanta United FC.
Vazquez scored four goals this year with the Under-19 men's national team. He's the ninth player to join Atlanta, which includes fellow youth internationals Andrew Carleton and Chris Goslin.
“Brandon is an exciting addition to the foundation we’re building with our roster,” team president Darren Eales said. “Our club is committed to identifying and securing young and exciting prospects nearing the prime of their careers, and Brandon is another example of that. He has a bright future for club and country and we’re pleased he’s decided to sign with us.”
Vazquez played frequently with the Tijuana U-15, U-17, and U-20 squads after joining the club in 2012. He began training with the first team this season and made his debut in a Copa MX match in August.
Dirty South Soccer and Stars and Stripes writer Jason Longshore is optimistic about the move:
He’ll have a player to learn from in Kenwyne Jones. Similar in size, Vazquez will have a mentor to develop behind. He will also be under the tutelage of Tata Martino, a manager who is known for developing young players and not being afraid of giving them opportunities to perform.
Next year will be a big year for Brandon Vazquez. In addition to being part of Atlanta United’s first season in MLS, he will also be trying to make the U.S. national team for the upcoming CONCACAF U20 Championship in February.
Vazquez is viewed as a player on the rise, and now he's in MLS. Will it be the right move or the wrong move for his development? As it is with all young players, we'll have to wait and see.
I leave you with these two tweets:
There were only two players to emerge from the 2015 U17 World Cup with improved stock individually.— Will Parchman (@WillParchman) December 2, 2016
1. Christian Pulisic
2. Brandon Vazquez